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Instead of trucking livestock to processing facilities, mobile processing allows for trailers to travel to livestock.

"Providing additional small scale processing with mobile units is an important component in rebuilding local and regional sustainable food systems."

Instead of trucking livestock to processing facilities, mobile slaughter allows the processing trailer to travel to the livestock, a concept that has potential to localize the food system while being more humane for the animals.

"Providing additional small scale processing with mobile units is an important component in rebuilding local and regional sustainable food systems," stated Mike Callicrate, Ranch Foods Direct Owner.

For many ranchers, there’s little choice for where to sell your cattle if they want to control the distribution or sell the butchered meat themselves.

KRCC’s Noel Black visited a ranch in northwestern Kansas near the Colorado border where a small group of people are taking small steps to change that.

Warning to listeners, some of the sounds and descriptions in this piece are graphic.

View the MMPU in action, schedule your visit to Callicrate Cattle Co today!

Next generation processing trailer loaded with new features

“It’s the first of its kind. Many parts on this trailer had never been manufactured before"

THE SCOOP: Callicrate Cattle Company received its new custom-built meat processing unit last month. “This is a milestone. It’s a state-of-the-art design,” says Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate.

THE BACKSTORY: In 2011, Mike’s ranch began processing on-site with a demonstration trailer provided by the Socially Responsible Ag Project. Construction on a new unit started soon after. It contains many revolutionary features, including a hide puller and a section of the processing rail that rotates, making carcass splitting easier. “There’s also lots of interior lighting and two scales measure both live and hot carcass weights.” The trailer has been extended five feet to accommodate a carcass quartering section outside of the cooler and to provide a tight docking seal for loading into the transport trailer. The carcass cooling section is rearranged to be more efficient. A second hoist on the outside of the trailer allows a staging area for hanging up the next animal in line. “With four people, we will be able to slaughter 20 head a day,” he says. “Water use of 32 gallons per head will continue to improve; at the big packing facilities, it’s around 730.”

UP NEXT: Housing it in a new 65x100-ft. building will permit comfortable operation year-round.

Mobile Meat Processing Unit Concept

RFD 05/16/2011 Press Release (PDF) | NEAC 05/16/2011 Press Release (PDF)

Mobile Meat Processing Unit Concept

Mobile Meat Processing Informational Videos

Part I: Set-up

Part II: Stunning, Bleeding and Moving

Part III: From Carcass to Cooler
Videos Courtesy of

Cowpool.org Promotes Localized Mobile Meat Processing Units

User experience logo 'Cow pooling' refers to sharing beef, but we're not talking just any beef. The cow pooling program will market the processing and distribution of local, sustainable and humanely raised beef from a source you can trust.

Mike Callicrate, at his natural meat company Ranch Foods Direct, assures that the Cowpool.org initiative is to foster businesses that benefit both local ranchers and consumers, with processing and distribution systems that provide incomparable quality, wholesomeness, eating satisfaction, and a mutually rewarding relationship of trust and responsibility.

Learn more about Cowpool.org


Dark Side of Meat Processing

The MEATRIX® Take the red pill and watch the critically-acclaimed, award-winning first episode of The Meatrix Trilogy.

Our heroes Moopheus, Leo and Chickity expose the dark side of Meat Processing.

A Pig's Tail

The Humane Society of the United States has teamed up with Academy Award-winning Aardman Studios to create A Pig's Tail, a short but compelling animated film about a pig’s perspective of factory farming.

This film gives a taste of how animals are treated on factory farms—and how we can help by choosing more humane alternatives.

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA)

NMPAN Research: Local Meats Processing

Local Meat and Poultry Processing: The Importance of Business Commitments for Long-Term Viability

by Lauren Gwin, Arion Thiboumery, and Richard Stillman

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-150) 50 pp, June 2013

Consumer demand for local food, including local meat and poultry, has risen in recent years. To sell meat, farmers need access to appropriately scaled processing facilities with the skills, inspection status, and reliability to prepare these products safely, legally, and to customer specifications. This report explores this multi-faceted problem and identifies fundamental causes

Report Download (PDF: 605 kb)

From Convenience to Commitment: Securing the Long-Term Viability of Local Meat and Poultry Processing by Lauren Gwin, Arion Thiboumery

Report Download (PDF: 5Mb)

Successes and Innovations (Webinar 04182013)

Source: Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network

Tour a working MMPU

Callicrate Cattle Co

Multiple Species Processing

  • Cows
  • Goats
  • Pigs
  • Poultry

All facilities meet USDA standards

MMPU Technical and Business Feasibility (PDF)

Project Funded by: Innovation Program, Alberta Applied Science and Technology, Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri Food Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, and Olds College, AB

Other Units